India’s Congress Party appears to have outlived its use as Mahatma Gandhi once said. It was formed largely to end the British colonialism and for swaraj or self-government. Established in 1885, it was the pivot of the Indian Independence Movement before it became the premier political party that has ruled India for more than five decades since Independence in 1947. …Read More »
A BJP-Muslim Entente Cordiale in India?
In a TV interview last week, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Arun Jaitley admitted that the BJP had a Muslim “problem.” “Yes, we have it,” he said, pointing out that there was a “problem both ways.” “Part of the problem is that they (Muslims) have to understand us and part of the problem is we have to accept it…But …Read More »
Alliances Not Leaders Will Decide Indian Elections
Political posturing in India has not changed since 1999, when there was a fascist party posing as a conservative one, and a royalist party posing as a liberal one. The posturing continues, but since then the Indian National Congress (INC) party has embraced coalition politics. And it may now be in a stronger position to attract allies than its rival, …Read More »
What’s With The Skullcaps?
Nepal has two months to go for polls, India’s general elections are six months away, and bizarre things are happening as campaigning picks up. But even by subcontinental standards, nothing can quite surpass the spectacle of India’s Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) bringing to its rallies people sporting skullcaps and burqas and shepherding them into a reserved enclosure as happened …Read More »
India’s Divisive Political Face
Now that India’s Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has settled on Narendra Modi, a top right-wing politician and chief minister of western state of Gujarat, as its prime ministerial candidate for the next year’s crucial elections, commentators across India and beyond are looking at the emerging political circus with inquietude. Modi is likely to face a stiff challenge from Rahul …Read More »
India Living Beyond Its Means
After decades of low consumption, when simplicity, socialism and self-reliance were the watch-words, the Indian consumer's appetite, post reforms, knows no bounds. Everyone is fighting shy of angering the middle class that dominates the media and the social media intercourse. The not-so-remote control is with the India Inc.Read More »
The Anatomy of Radicalism
When the Indian Mujahideen’s bomb-maker, Yasin Bhatkal, was caught in Pokhara (in western Nepal) last week (August 29), there was justifiable jubilation in India. Yasin spilled the beans on interrogation, revealing that Nepal’s scenic lakeside resort has become a hideout of choice where Indian extremists can lie low. But few know that Yasin was radicalized by what he erroneously believed …Read More »